Otherwise well-groomed nails can be let down by ragged and unruly cuticles. Lack of moisture causing cuticles to crack and peel away from the nail bed is a common culprit. Biting or picking at your nails can further damage cuticles, leaving the skin around your nails at risk of bacterial or fungal infections. Since healthy cuticles perform the valuable function of keeping potentially harmful infections out of your nails, they should be treated with great care.
Fix Dry, Peeling Nails
Massage your nails and cuticles with a moisturizer twice a day, as part of your regular beauty routine. Use a hand cream or an over-the-counter moisturizer formulated especially for nails.
Reapply moisturizer after washing your hands or getting your hands wet.
Use gloves when handling chemicals -- such as household detergents -- that may having a drying effect on your nails.
Use acetone-based nail polish remover no more than once a week, or switch to an acetone-free product.
Apply moisturizer to the nail bed, cuticles and surrounding skin of each nail at bedtime. Cover your hands with cotton gloves to enhance the hydrating effects of the moisturizer overnight.
Fix Ripped or Untidy Cuticles
Soak your clean fingertips in a bowl of warm water for up to three minutes.
Massage an over-the-counter cuticle remover product into the cuticles, as per the manufacturer's instructions.
Gently push back the moist translucent cuticle skin of each nail using an orange stick, being careful not to apply excessive pressure that could damage the nail bed.
Move the orange stick in small circles at the base of each nail to remove any remaining translucent cuticle skin.
Massage a cuticle cream containing alpha-hydroxy acids into the base of each nail to moisturize and smooth the surface.
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